Sunday, January 22, 2017

Costacos Brothers Vintage Sports Posters

Recently, I found an amazing, door size Michael Jordan poster at an estate sale. It's in fantastic condition for being nearly 30 years old. I tossed around the idea of keeping it, but ultimately decided to sell it

As usual, I did a little research on it to insure that I price it accordingly. In doing so, I learned a lot about a couple of brothers who created an incredible business featuring famous sports figures of the late 80s and early 90s. Those brothers were the Costaco brothers. 

In Seattle, in the mid 80s, two brothers created a poster empire. They stood out by posing athletes in unorthodox scenes often times playing off their famous nick names. Like this one of Karl "The Mailman" Malone.





Instead of posters of athletes dunking or catching a football in an end zone, they played off of current pop culture and posed them as dynamic duos like Miami Vice, or in this case, "Chicago Vice."


Their poster company was a huge success. The following are a few more examples of some of the work they did that made them famous.





Recently, the brothers have come out of retirement with this new poster of Russell Wilson.


Watch the video below to learn more.





or visit their website


To see the Costacos brothers poster of Michael Jordan that is for sale in the shop, click the link below.







Sunday, November 27, 2016

T-Shirt of the Month Club

I'm bringing back the T-shirt of the month club in time for Christmas. This makes a totally unique and fun gift that keeps on giving.

Click here to be taken to the shop listing. 


Monday, November 21, 2016

Grandma Roark's Famous Cornbread Casserole





It took a little convincing, but Grandma has finally agreed to share her top secret cornbread casserole recipe with the world. And I'm not sure if the world is ready. This cornbread is so good it should be illegal. It's so good, I want to take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant. It's that good.

She gave me this recipe in 2000, when I moved to Arizona. She knew I wouldn't be able to survive  without it. I'm sharing a pic of the paper she wrote it on, because, well, her handwriting is really loopy, swirly and beautiful. You can see that it has definitely been used time and again. And my daughter has made her own marks on it while she helped me bake it.

In her version below, it states to bake in a 9 x 13 pan. Don't do that unless you double the recipe. Otherwise, bake it in an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 square pan. This will give you a nice thick hunk of corn bread.
In my variation, I use slightly less oil and a little bit less liquid from the canned corn. I rarely add any other optional ingredients. Maybe I'm a corn bread purist, if there is such a thing, but I just love it the way it is. My version is typed below.









Grandma Roark's Famous Cornbread Casserole

             8 eggs, slightly beaten
             1 1/4 Cups vegetable oil
             2 cans cream style corn
             2 cans whole kernel corn, drained (leave 1/2 the liquid in one of the cans)
             4 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
             2 packages Jiffy cornbread mix
             
Mix all ingredients together in large bowl. Pour into greased 9 x 13 cake pan. **Important- place your cake pan onto a larger cookie sheet in case the casserole rises over the side. It's not likely to happen, but it did to me once and I had a giant mess all over the bottom of my oven. Ever since, I have placed a cookie sheet underneath just in case. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 min or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. 


I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!




Friday, December 5, 2014

Corn Pudding from the "Guarded Secrets" cookbook

Being from the midwest, I've always had an affinity for any recipe involving corn. My hometown was flanked by cornfields on every side. It was always a staple food and one that I've always liked. My grandma makes the best cornbread casserole in the entire world, no joke. I'm hoping one day she'll let me share it with the world, but for now I'm sworn to secrecy on the recipe. When I saw the recipe for "Corn - Spoon" in the "Guarded Secrets" cookbook, I knew I had to try it. It's the first recipe I've made from the book, but it definitely won't be the last.

* I knew this cookbook was special the second I dug it out of a box at a yard sale. To find out how special, read part 1 of the story. *

Now, on to the recipe....





I've edited the recipe instructions from the book slightly, to make it a bit easier to understand, but I did not change the actual recipe. Actually, I did change one small thing. I used less salt than was called for. 

This recipe is a corn pudding or a corn souffle. It turns out silky soft and melts in your mouth.

CORN PUDDING

by Estelle Pond Rowen

1 1/4 cups scalded milk
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs, separated
2 tbsp butter
1 can cream style corn
3/4 tsp baking powder

Heat milk over medium high heat stirring frequently. When it starts to look slightly frothy, remove from heat. Stir in cornmeal and salt until the consistency of thick mush. Over low heat, blend in butter, corn and baking powder. Remove from heat.

Beat egg whites (at room temperature) until stiff but not dry. Beat yolks until thick and lemon color. Fold egg whites and yolks into corn mixture. 

Pour batter into a greased 2 qt. baking dish. Bake in 375 degree oven for about 35 minutes. Should be golden brown and puffy.

Serves 6


I tested this recipe out on family and a few friends. The votes were split directly in half. Everyone liked the flavor, but some didn't like the texture. It comes out light and silky and soft. Those of us who did like it, loved it's creamy consistency. We ate half the pan before I could even get a picture. 

If you like souffles or savory puddings you should definitely give this recipe a try. 

*The only addition I would recommend for this recipe would be a little bit of cheddar cheese. I'm going to try it next time and I think it will take this recipe to new heights. I would not recommend adding green chiles or jalepenos, which are usually great accompaniments to corn casseroles. I don't think the texture of the peppers would work well with the overall texture of the dish. However, if you try it with peppers, I would love to hear how it turns out! 


The original page from the cookbook.
If you are or know the creator of this recipe, Estelle Pond Rowen, please send me an email at thethriftmonster@gmail


Stay tuned for more recipes from the "Guarded Secrets" cookbook. 

Guarded Secrets - The Story - Chapter 1

It had been a rather unfruitful yard sale excursion that day and I was riding home. The sun was high in the sky now and even though it was the middle of October, it was a hot day.  I was tired and had been at it now for hours the whole time riding my bike from sale to sale. Nearly my entire neighborhood was participating in the community sale and I had been excited to be able to ride my bike to them, but the heat quickly vanquished my enthusiasm. Just as soon as I had decided to call it quits, a bright green sign caught my eye. I was close to home, so I figured one more sale wouldn't hurt.


Hot and crouched over a box full of dusty books in someones drive way, I was ready to give up. The old woman running the sale looked as though she was ready to pack it all up as well. The smell of cooking food was wafting out of her screen door and I knew that as soon as I left, she would go inside to finally eat her late lunch. I felt guilty from keeping her from eating. I started to stand up to leave and was suddenly pushed back down.

Startled, I whipped around to see who had pushed me. I expected to see an inconsiderate shopper not paying attention to where they were going. Instead, I saw that I was the only one there aside from the lady who was running the sale and she was sitting behind a table in the garage. I thought that maybe I was just overheated and my body was trying to tell me so. Or perhaps, my legs had fallen asleep from crouching down so long. As I started to stand up again, I heard whispering in my ear. Startled again, I turned around and noticed the lady staring at me curiously.

"What was that you said?" I asked her.

"Nothing dear." she said with a confused look on her face.

"Oh. I thought you said something. This heat must be getting to me." Embarrassed, I turned away from her so she couldn't see the redness in my cheeks.

That's the moment I saw the book. It was tucked in tight with some other books, but the bit of bright yellow cover that was sticking out caught my eye. I was seeing it like it was in an old movie where they fade out with a big circle that slowly gets smaller around the object they are focusing on. It sounded like a dozen people were standing behind me whispering to each other, but I couldn't understand their words. A cloud moved in front of the sun casting a blue shadow over the driveway and time seemed to stand still for a moment. I reached for the book and as I picked it up, the cloud moved away and the sun shone brightly on it's yellow cover making it gleam as if it were encrusted with a thousand diamonds. The cover simply read, "Guarded Secrets."


Friday, November 28, 2014

Plaid Pendleton Skirt - 2 Ways

I've always been frugal when it comes to clothes shopping. I grew up that way. We had to be able to stretch a dollar to make it week to week. I rarely buy anything full price and buy a lot of off season stuff that is marked way down. Of course, my main clothing supply comes from thrift stores and yard sales. That is where I always get the best deals and find the best stuff. My wardrobe is built on thrift store finds and it's pretty damn stylish, if I do say so myself. One of the best ways that I've learned to get the most from my wardrobe is to make each piece work in several different ways.

There are the basic wardrobe staples that are perfect for this. For example you can make a pair of jeans look casual or super fancy. The black pencil skirt (that should be in every woman's closet) goes with anything. Beyond the basic wardrobe essentials, I try to make each piece work in several different ways. Basically, I will style a plaid western shirt in as many different ways as I can. So, I've been working on incorporating more of that in my etsy listings and I thought, "why not do a blog post series about it too?" 

The weather has been just right for finally getting out the plaid flannels and sweaters. It's my favorite time of year in Arizona.


 The Plaid Pendleton Skirt
Two Ways


Monday, November 24, 2014

Vintage Owl Lamp Upcycle



A couple of years ago, I found this awesome ceramic owl lamp at a yard sale. I was so stoked about it, that I put it in my living room and took pics before I even fixed the lampshade. The owls were in decent shape, except there were a few minor chips on it. There was also one pretty bad chip on the owl's brow, but I loved it anyway. I thought about painting it to cover up these chips, but since I'm mostly a vintage purist, I thought it would be a bad idea.

Normally, I don't condone painting anything that is genuine vintage. Vintage wood furniture should almost never be painted. Anything collectible shouldn't be painted, if painting an item will diminish the value, don't paint it, etc, etc,.. You get the point. So, I never wanted to paint this baby, until now.

I've got to say that I DO NOT recommend buying one of these lamps and immediately painting it. If you find one and it's in great shape, you probably shouldn't paint it. I only painted this one after long and careful consideration and because there were some significant chips on it. Please don't go around painting up all of these beauties. If you love the look and really want to have one like it, I'm working on a cheap and easy DIY, knock off version. So, check back before you go paint one of these beauties.

See the AFTER version after the jump